When I went to my first Date with Destiny event with Tony Robbins, one of the things he spoke about was CANI, Constant And Neverending Improvement. I had never heard of this concept but immediately jumped on it. I did some research as CANI emanates from the Japanese term Kaizen.
I started the CANI process first on my health and then throughout my personal life and business life. I found success on all fronts and became enamored with this concept. One of my cousins was working in Japan at the time. We were close when we were growing up and we rarely talked when he was working in Japan. The plant he was working in was affected by an earthquake and I checked in on him and his family. He was amazingly positive and told me that their team was approaching this as “shoshin.”
I had never heard of this term but as I researched it, I understood what he meant, more importantly, I started to incorporate it in my annual and business planning and it helped me after my experience on US Airways 1549 and grow as I had never before.
Shoshin is the Japanese word for approaching things with a “beginner’s mind,” free of any preconceptions or clutter. One of the challenges I had, as I was growing in my post-college life, was when I was approaching something new in my life, my mind had preconceptions about my expectations which made it tough for me to make significant progress. My time with Bill, my first mentor, helped tremendously as he gave me references about how he faced challenges. But there were times when I had opportunities that stretched me and I would regress and go through old embedded patterns I had done for years which slowed my progress.
When my cousin mentioned this term, shoshin, I researched the meaning and how the best leaders used this to impact their people and grow their companies. I have mentioned in previous blogs something Bill asked me to incorporate in my life in 1987 which has significantly impacted my life for over 30 years, my annual personal growth budget. I do this budget when I set up my next year’s plan and the budget has increased every year and every year, I have grown. This was my CANI or Kaizen strategy. The December after Bill passed, I incorporated into my next year’s plan the “Shoshin effect.”
Starting in 1998, I started to organize my plan with what is my mission for the year, what is most important to me, and my business for the year. How does this mission line up with my values and priorities? How will I put into play or operationalize the mission with the values? How can I put those into what I will be doing in my business? Are there any obstacles that will prevent me from achieving my mission based on my values? And how will I measure how I have had a successful or non-successful year?
Shortly after the Miracle on the Hudson, I had a situation that became the biggest “learning” from that experience. I found out that I had preconceptions and judged some people before I knew the “backstory” of their lives. I had to “shoshin” and start from the beginning to focus on not prejudging people before I had the opportunity to know them or learn where they were coming from. This one learning accelerated my post-traumatic growth.
When the pandemic hit in April 2020, that year’s plans and answers to my annual questions changed. One thing I and most all of us learned was you had to adapt quickly. I spent the first four weeks of the pandemic asking those shoshin questions I asked in December again. I could not repeat the same plan I incorporated earlier in the year and I had to start with a beginner’s mind. I had to come up with something new and the first thing I did when I put 2020 “shoshin part 2” in my plan was to meet with my mentor, Don to ask for his help in developing what we call “Dave 2.0.”
After that meeting, I started to call five people a day to check-in. This helped me with my values of connections. I began writing my new book, From Turmoil to Triumph to start to fulfill a promise I made to Bill in 1987, fulfilling my contribution values. I had to figure out a different health and fitness routine as the gyms were closed so I started a new fitness plan, which met my variety values. I did this for each of my key values and this helped me stay focused and grow during those dark months of the pandemic.
As you approach 2023, take these two Japanese concepts, Kaizen and Shoshin into your planning.
Invest a percentage of your income back into yourself in personal development, either in books, events, mastermind, or coaching, and watch your life expand.
Start your planning with these five questions:
- How does this mission line up with my values and priorities?
- How will I put into play or operationalize the mission with my values?
- How can I put those into what I will be doing in my business?
- Are there any obstacles that will prevent me from achieving my mission based on my values?
- How will I measure how I have had a successful or non-successful year?
and make 2023 your year of new beginnings, having an attitude of anticipation, openness, excitement, and no predetermined assumptions, and watch how you and your team grow, creating your own flight plan for your future!
Check out my new website at https://davesandersonspeaks.com for additional resources on how you can use your personal leadership skills to create your own flight plan and turn whatever turmoil you may be going through into your TRIUMPH!
If you would like a personalized signed copy of my new book “From Turmoil to Triumph, ” go to https://davesandersonspeaks.com/books/. A portion of every signed copy will go to charity to help those who are fighting their personal battle with cancer so they create their own flight plan.
LEAD YOURSELF FIRST and CREATE YOUR FLIGHT PLAN FOR YOUR FUTURE!
Dave Sanderson is the President of his firm, Dave Sanderson Speaks International, based
out of Charlotte, NC. On January 15, 2009, Dave was one of the last passengers off the plane that crashed into the Hudson River, best known as The Miracle on the Hudson is considered the most successful ditching in aviation history. He has built a career as a motivational speaker, mentor, and author. Dave was recently named one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers in Inc.com.
Dave averages over 80 speeches a year for major corporations.